Is there a way of not making this confusing?


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  1. #1

    Is there a way of not making this confusing?

    I want to write a story that deals with perceptions of reality. My view of life is that perspective is often more important than "truth". It is the interplay between various perspectives that generates the perceived truths.

    In my story, we have a dead woman, and many different perspectives on how the events occured. The boyfriend is accused of having murdered her. The boyfriend believes he is not a murderer, and that the family of the woman is trying to put thoughts into his head.

    As the story goes on, I want to keep the truth of what actually happened very muddy. The boyfriend is slowly becoming convinced that he might be murderer, but is never made clear, and it could just as well be that his own mind is being manipulated by suggestions.

    In the end, he is found not guilty, but the whole case is rather sketchy. Therefore, he is left without a clear resolution. I don't want to give a conclusive answer. Instead, I want readers to see the story as a negotiation of ideas that shape the identity of the protagonist. The real question he struggles with isn't "did I actually kill her", but rather "how much of a murderer do I see within myself".

    Any advice on how to tackle such a project? Right now I just have notes scattered around my desk.
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  2. #2
    Wɾʇ∩9 bdcharles's Avatar
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    Sounds very interesting. I would just ... start. What's the first thing that happens that signifies this is not a run-of-the-mill set of events, that we have perhaps deviated from the norm? Write about that moment. Who's the boyfriend? Where is he? What is he doing at the exact point of this realisation?


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  3. #3
    I see an essential conflict. To present the story from the boyfriend's point of view, to understand how he feels, means giving the reader the same information he has. Which means you do not tell the reader who the murderer is. However, to understand the situation -- how someone might come be believe he is the murderer, even though he is not, for example -- requires that the reader know if he is actually the murderer.

    I am not sure how to resolve that. Maybe at the end have an epilogue, not from his point of view, that reveals the true murderer? That isn't ideal, or close. I'm just brainstorming.

    Sounds like a fascinating concept, though.
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  4. #4
    wutsayye?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by AdrianBraysy View Post
    I want to write a story that deals with perceptions of reality. My view of life is that perspective is often more important than "truth". It is the interplay between various perspectives that generates the perceived truths.

    In my story, we have a dead woman, and many different perspectives on how the events occured. The boyfriend is accused of having murdered her. The boyfriend believes he is not a murderer, and that the family of the woman is trying to put thoughts into his head.

    As the story goes on, I want to keep the truth of what actually happened very muddy. The boyfriend is slowly becoming convinced that he might be murderer, but is never made clear, and it could just as well be that his own mind is being manipulated by suggestions.

    In the end, he is found not guilty, but the whole case is rather sketchy. Therefore, he is left without a clear resolution. I don't want to give a conclusive answer. Instead, I want readers to see the story as a negotiation of ideas that shape the identity of the protagonist. The real question he struggles with isn't "did I actually kill her", but rather "how much of a murderer do I see within myself".

    Any advice on how to tackle such a project? Right now I just have notes scattered around my desk.
    This sounds great. It reminds me of Girl on a Train, you should read it if you haven't already. It might help and it's a good read, too.

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  6. #6
    Mentor Dluuni's Avatar
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    Sounds like a good exploration of theme, a character undergoing gaslighting to try to convince him he's the criminal.
    Maybe check the term I listed for research on how it works, the origin, etc.

  7. #7
    Hi AdrianBraysy,
    I'm very pleased to meet you.

    I have no idea how I would make your scenario work. Although my top tip is.... don't make the names too similar.

    I wish you the best of luck and hope everything works out in the edit.
    BC

  8. #8
    Fascinating concept! You might want to, as others suggested, write it out and post it in the "Secure" sub-forum for ficiton so that people that have a look'see and critique!

  9. #9
    Sounds like a twist on An Inspector Calls​, give it watch if you haven't already.

  10. #10
    Member Rojack79's Avatar
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    This is a fascinating idea. I would suggest that if you really want to go the psychological thiller route then let us know how the case go's as well. Let us in on the investigation of the murder along the way. Also I'll make the recommendation that you look up cosmic horror and/or H.P. Lovecraft. His work is cosmic horror personified but I think it'll help you get down the psychological angle for this kind of story.
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